Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Say It Loud I'm Black And I'm Proud It is a good thing that James Brown did live to see his “wanna-be” promoter, Al Sharpton, turn out to be the antithesis of everything that The God Father of Soul stood for. “Say it loud, I am Black and I am proud” was the rallying cry of Black Americans in the 1960’s and 1970’s. African Americans were proud of their dark complexions, broad noses, and nappy hair. Americans chose hair as their symbol of protest in the 60’s. No one embodied the spirit of that generation better than Black Americans sporting long bushy Afros. Long nappy Afros were the “in” hair fashion. Afro hairstyles symbolized a generation of American youth protesters. Caucasians and Asians were going to the beauty salons to get kinked.
Today Rev Al Sharpton is trying to “ethnically cleanse” the English language, at least, that version that is common in the Black community. Rev Sharpton and Rev Jesse Jackson are leading the charge that Don Imus should be fired. They have a direct line to the media to express their outrage. These two, so called, gospel ministers have forgotten the most basic tenet of the teachings of Jesus. When rabbis wanted to stone the woman caught in adultery, Jesus said "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone". Rev Jackson and Rev Sharpton do not have clean hands. Their hands are dripping with the blood of Tawana Brawley, and their lips are dripping with slurs like Hymietown and Jew York as references to New York City.They should not have led the media lynch mob for Imus' head on a silver platter. They served Imus up like John The Baptist.

Harry R. Jackson Jr., founder and Chairman of the High Impact Leadership Coalition said on 17 April in a column, "Rev.Jesse Jackson has never been elected the Black community’s president or crowned King of Black America. Here we go again, elevating a personal political agenda above the needs of our community." He was once offered the position of Mayor of Washington, DC. He could have run virtually unopposed. He refused, presumably because it did not come with a personal airplane and a million dollar personal budget.

Almost all of the Black people I know have nappy hair. It is nappy in its natural state. Perhaps, that is why Rev Al wears a “process”. He straightens his hair, either chemically or with the revolutionary invention of Madam C. J. Walker, the straightening comb. He does not wear it naturally nappy. I do not know if he is ashamed of his God given attributes, or if he wants to truly imitate his idol, James Brown. James Brown wore a “process” all of his adult life.

Words like nappy, and kinky are common in the Black community. They are not good or bad. They are just descriptive. Young Black children are taught that nappy hair is “bad hair” and that curly or straight hair is “good hair”. These are some of the psychological chains that replaced the physical chains of slavery. Many Blacks are still slaves to the English language. They want to regulate how others use the English language. Some words are bad and others are good. Some words can only be used by Blacks about Blacks. It appears that “nappy” and “ho” are two such words.
Those words were once the exclusive province of the Black community, but then Hip Hop Rap meisters took the vernacular worldwide. They sold out their birth right. For a fist full of dollar and fifteen minutes of fame they recorded the most disgusting lyrics they could dream up depicting the most sordid areas of their urban cultural experience. They used words seldom heard outside the Black community. People worlwide began speaking in the same new dialect. To rappers most women were characterized as “hos”. Today many people are speaking their language. Now the chickens are coming home to roost. Many of those screaming for Imus' head have used those same words all of their lives. They are a part of the Black Cultural experience. Down deep in the Black psyche there are some things that we do not like about ourselves. And that is a shame. Nothing God made was ugly or bad, except that weak minded humans perceive it as such.

The first person has weighed into this fracas with clear headed comments was Michael Harrison, the editor of the Talk Radio magazine Talkers. "The real issue" he said "is the the larger battle over the kind of course language popularized by the Hip Hop and Rap culture". They have added new words to our lexicon.
Apparently Don Imus heard one of their records; or, perhaps he has friends of the Black persuasion who speak openly in his presence. Or, maybe after hearing all those rap lyrics, he has learned to talk "Black", at least, Ghetto Black. Nevertheless, he has picked up the vernacular. He has a far reaching pulpit to shout it from. He is a 66 year old very popular shock jock. He is a member of the radio Hall of Fame. Advertisers spent about $12 Million on his ahow in 2006. Sponsors paid MSNBC an additional $8.4 Million for spots on his show in the same year. His generates more money than the Gross National product of most of the countries in Africa, Asia, South, Central and Latin America. When Howard Stern jumped to satellite radio, Imus did not. His bosses in the medium appreciate his loyalty. They are not about to kill the goose that lays the golden egg. "I am not going to drop him", said Greater Music CEO Peter Smyth who aires Imus on WTKK in Boston, Massachuetts.
Imus said something that the “politically correct” sheriff’s of the English language did not approve of. He is momentarily in the hot seat again. It would be tempting to join in the charade and “pile on”, since every one is doing it. But, I think we are just being too sensitive. Afterall, an apology from Don Imus will not straighten one hair on Rev Al Sharpton’s head or on a single of the basketball players from Rutgers. It will give Rev Al and Rev Jesse another chance to strut and fret their time upon the stage. They will force another fellow entertainer to grovel and apologize, along the lines of Michael Richards, who was finally pardoned by Rev Sharpton and told that he was a "good man". A few token advertisers, like Procter and Gamble or Staples, will withdraw their ads for a while. It is more about entertainment than any outraged indignation. The line between news and entertainment is so blurred that no one can really tell the difference anymore. Even fewer people seem to care. They just want a daily slice of agitation and entertainment to spice up their routine dull existence. And that is precisely what Imus gives them. He is a provokateur. He is a shock-jock. And he is good at what he does. He loves to pull the strings and push the buttons of sensitive people. He has a power and a lever of control over weak minded people who can be relied upon to react as expected. All the while he is having fun and appears to be contrite with a smug little smirk.

It appears that he referred to the Rutgers basketball players as “nappy-headed hos”. I did not hear the radio broadcast. I have read in the media how many are calling for his ouster. It appears that a simple apology is not sufficient. One thing I have not been able to get clear from the press reports. That is what part of the statement his critics find offensive, or most offensive. Is it the “nappy-headed” part; or, is it the “hos” part? Neither was a nice thing to say on the radio; but, which is he supposed to apologize for?

If you are a Black Hip-Hop “artist” or a “Gangsta” rapper, you are allowed by the liberal media, the elements of corporate America getting rich off of you, and many in your community, to disgustingly denigrate young Black women by word and image. But, if you are a white, senior citizen, national radio host and repeat a repugnant phrase sung hundreds of times by young African-Americans, then you are systematically targeted and ostracized by a complacent media eager to appease self-appointed leaders such as Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton.
What standard are we using to judge Imus? There is no clearly defined community standard anymore. By the Hip Hop Rapper Standard, Imus would get The Image Award. He is an "artist", and he must be free to express himself. That is part of the price we all must pay to live in a free society. It is part of our First Amendment Freedoms. According to Cal Thomas, if Imus went on trial no jury would convict him because the prosecutor would not have a universal standard by which to hold him accountable.
If TRUTH is a complete defense, then the “nappy-head” part would not be legally actionable. It is not nice or polite, but it is hardly fighting words. To tell a person he has a big nose, or straight hair, when he does, is merely stating the obvious. It is the truth.
Today, anything less than flattering is an insult. The “hos” part is offensive and would be actionable as a common law tort, imputing less than chaste character to a woman of good character. He should be held to a higher standard because of the powerful position that he has in the entertainment business. He should realize that he cannot talk like people on the street. But, this is a temptest in a tea pot.
I still cannot figure out why Jimmy "The Greek" Schneider was fired from the Sunday football broadcasts. All he said was that during the slave era in America slaves were bred for speed and power in the hips. Everyone knows or suspects that that it true. Perhaps it reminds us of a shameful period in our history. We would rather not be reminded of shameful things in our past.
Now, when Tom Brookshire was broadcasting an NCAA basketball game he went too far. A team with a low score of about 65 was maligned by Tom Brookshire. He said that the score represented the IQ of the entire team. That was funny, but it was also insulting and cruel. There was probably no truth in it.
The first part of what Imus said was true. Black women have nappy hair. Madame C. J. Walker became the first female millionaire in America when she invented a way for women to straighten their hair. She invented the straightening comb. It is used by Black and white women.
Today well-meaning people employ euphemisms in order to be kind. Unfortunately, we do our reasoning with words and, so, when what we wish to communicate isn’t clear-thinking but merely our own compassion and empathy, we wind up sounding like a bunch of politically correct nincompoops. We have turned into a nation of intellectual creampuffs. Negroes became Blacks and then African Americans. Homosexuals became gays. Janitors became garbage collectors. Retarded people became exceptional or mentally challenged. Illegal aliens became undocumented immigrants. Absent minded are just experiencing a senior moment. Nappy-headed people are just having a bad hair day.
English is becoming a hard language to express yourself in without being sued or punched in the mouth. In the case of Don Imus, he might get suspended or lose his job because of a loose tongue. But I doubt it. He is everybody's favorite Bad Boy. He pushes the envelope of civil dialogue. Senators John McCain, John Kerry and Joe Lieberman have accepted his apology, so has former Governor and Republican Presidential candidate Mike Huckabee of Arkansas. As a minister of the Gosppel, Huckaby believes in confession and redemption. Other media stars who have appeared on Imus' show, like Face the Nation host Tim Russert and News Anchorman Brian Williams have not indicated that they will not accept future invitations to appear on the Imus Show. Don Imus says things out in the open that others are thinking in the privacy of their own minds. He rattles and gives away his position and his intentions. He is like a rattle snake. I prefer a rattle snake to a cobra.
Apparently, we as a nation, are looking for some time out. We need a diversion from the constant news of wars and suicide bombings. This is a healthy diversion. Every one is getting in on the act.
President George Bush, Citizen Number 1, speaking through his spokes person, Dana Perino, said "An apology was the absolute right thing to do. Beyond that I think that his employer is going to have to make a decision about any action that they take based on it."
All of the presidential contenders said pretty much the same things. Hillary Clinton called the remarks hateful and hurtful. Mitt Romney said if he ever goes back on the show he will tell Imus how awful those remarks were. Rudy Giuliani said Imus realizes that he made a very, very big mistake. Senator Chris Dodd said Imus' remarks were wrong and unacceptable.
The person I most wanted to hear from was Barak Obama. He is the only candidate with close to nappy hair. So far, he has said nothing. I wonder if he is ashamed of his "naps". That's what all this is about, self-hate. Anyone proud of their God-given nappy hair would not be offended if some one said that they had nappy hair.
As Don King would say "Only in America". Isn't this a great country or what? We have freedom of speech and of the press. By playing for the NCAA Championship against the Volunteers of Tennessee, did that make the Rutgers team public figures, and open them up for public lampooning? In one of the middle eastern countries, the soccer team and the coach were killed. They were burned to death for loosing. One of the World Cup coaches from South America could not return home after losing. Sadam Hussein's son took person revenge on his soccer coach and the entire team for loosing a game. All Imus did was make fair comment and use a popular invective popularized by most of the current popular music rappers.
There is a chilling effect on public discourse today. Every joke is made at some one's expense. It may be the Polish, or the Dumb Blond, or the Irish, or the Jews, or
a certain religious faith, or a politician; but, someone does not find it so funny. At least, in America we have that right and privilege. In Amsterdam, Netherlands they killed Vincent Van Gogh's relative for printing a carton about the Prophet. So, thank God for the Supreme Court and the United States of America. The Supreme Court under Chief Judge William Rehnquist in 1988 in the Case of Hustler Magazine v. Jerry Falwell said that even the most caustic commentary about public figures deserves First Amendment protection. "Isn't this a great country, or what"?



Blogger ichbinalj said...

Rashidat Junaid, Myia McCurdy, Brittany Ray, Epiphanny Prince, Dee Dee Jernigan, and Heather Zurich. Coach is C. Vivian Stringer. Except for Heather Zurich, they are all Black.

5:01 PM  
Blogger ichbinalj said...

On C-Span recently,there was a
speech by Senator Barrack Hussein Obama, Jr. He was standing in the
pulpit of a black church in Selma, Alabama, and as I studied the
body language of the dozen or so black ministers standing behind the
senator, I couldn't help but be reminded of the little head-bobbing
dolls that people used to place in the rear windows of their 1957 Chevrolets. If their reactions are any indication, the new Schlickmeister of the Democrat Party is actually a pretty accomplished public speaker.
However, as he spoke, I found my bull_ _ _ _ alarm going off,
repeatedly. But I couldn't quite figure out why until I actually
read excerpts of his speech several days later. Here's part of what he said:
"...something happened back here in Selma, Alabama. Something
happened in Birmingham that sent out what Bobby Kennedy called,
"ripples of hope all around the world." Something happened when a
bunch of women decided they were going to walk instead of ride the bus after a long day of doing somebody else's laundry, looking after somebody else' children.
"When (black) men who had PhD's decided 'that's enough' and
'we're going to stand up for our dignity,' that sent a shout across
oceans so that my grandfather began to imagine something
different for his son. His son, who grew up herding goats in a small village in Africa could suddenly set his sights a little higher and believe that maybe a black man in this world had a chance.
". So the Kennedy's decided we're going to do an air lift.
We're going to go to Africa and start bringing young Africans over
to this
country and give them scholarships to study so they can learn what a
wonderful country America is.

"This young man named Barack Obama got one of those tickets
and came over to this country. He met this woman whose great
great-great-great-grandfather had owned slaves; but she had a good
idea there was some craziness going on because they looked at each other and they decided that we know that, (in) the world as it has been, it might not be possible for us to get together and have a child. There was something stirring across the country because of what happened in
Selma, Alabama, because some folks are willing to march across a
bridge. So
they got together and Barack Obama Jr. was born. So don't tell me I
don't have a claim on Selma, Alabama. Don't tell me I'm not coming
home to Selma, Alabama."
Okay, so what's wrong with that? It all sounds good. but is
Obama told his audience that, because some folks had the
courage to "march across a bridge" in Selma, Alabama, his mother, a
white woman from Kansas, and his father, a black Muslim from Africa, took heart. It gave them the courage to get married and have a child. The problem with that characterization is that Barrack Obama, Jr. was born on
August 4, 1961, while the first of three marches across that bridge
in Selma didn't occur until March 7, 1965, at least five years after Obama's parents met.

Obama went on to tell his audience that the Kennedys, Jack and Bobby, decided to do an airlift. They would bring some young Africans over so that they could be educated and learn all about America. His grandfather heard that call and sent his son, Barrack Obama, Sr., to America.

The problem with that scenario is that, having been born in
August 1961, the future senator was not conceived until sometime in
November 1960. So, if his African grandfather heard words
that "sent a shout across oceans," inspiring him to send his
goat-herder son to America, it was not Democrat Jack Kennedy he heard, or his brother Bobby, it was Republican President Dwight D. Eisenhower.

Obama's speech is reminiscent of Al Gore's claim of having
invented the Internet, Hillary Clinton's claim of having been named after the first man to climb Mt. Everest. even though she was born five years and seven months before Sir Edmund climbed the mountain, and John Kerry's imaginary trip to Cambodia.

As one of my black friends, Eddie Huff, has said, "We need to
ask some very serious questions of the senator from Illinois.
It's not enough to be black, it's not enough to be articulate, and
it's not enough to be eloquent and a media darling. The only question will be how deaf an ear, or how blind an eye, will people turn in order to turn a frog into a prince."

It appears that Senator Barrack Hussein Obama, Jr. is not a
"fresh face," as media sycophants like to describe him, he's just
another in a long line of Democrat snake oil salesmen.
by Paul R. Hollrah

5:26 PM  
Blogger ichbinalj said...

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. 13 Apr 2007 - Rutgers women's basketball coach C. Vivian Stringer said Friday the team had accepted radio host Don Imus' apology. She said he deserves a chance to move on but hopes the furor his racist and sexist insult caused will be a catalyst for change.

We, the Rutgers University Scarlet Knight basketball team, accept — accept — Mr. Imus' apology, and we are in the process of forgiving," Stringer read from a team statement a day after the women met personally with Imus and his wife.

"We still find his statements to be unacceptable, and this is an experience that we will never forget," she said.

"These comments are indicative of greater ills in our culture," Stringer said. "It is not just Mr. Imus, and we hope that this will be and serve as a catalyst for change. Let us continue to work hard together to make this world a better place."

12:43 PM  
Blogger ichbinalj said...

Imus' wife Deirdre Imus said, ""I have to say that these women are unbelievably courageous and beautiful women". They gave us the opportunity to listen to what they had to say and why they're hurting and how awful this is," author Deirdre Imus said.

"He feels awful," she said of her husband. "He asked them, 'I want to know the pain I caused, and I want to know how to fix this and change this.'"

Deirdre Imus also said that the Rutgers players have been receiving hate e-mail, and she demanded that it stop. She told listeners "if you must send e-mail, send it to my husband," not the team.
The cantankerous Imus, once named one of the 25 Most Influential People in America by Time magazine and a member of the National Broadcasters Hall of Fame, was one of radio's original shock jocks.

His career took flight in the 1970s and with a cocaine- and vodka-fueled outrageous humor. After sobering up, he settled into a mix of highbrow talk about politics and culture, with locker room humor sprinkled in.

Critics have said his remark about the Rutgers women was just the latest in a line of objectionable statements by the ringmaster of a show that mixed high-minded talk about politics and culture with crude, locker-room humor.

Imus apologized on the air late last week and also tried to explain himself before the Rev. Al Sharpton's radio audience, appearing alternately contrite and combative. But many of his advertisers still bailed in disgust, particularly after the Rutgers women spoke publicly of their hurt.

Some Imus fans, however, considered the radio host's punishment too harsh.

12:47 PM  
Blogger ichbinalj said...

On Wednesday, 11 April, a week after the remark, MSNBC said it would no longer televise the show. CBS fired Imus Thursday from the radio show that he has hosted for nearly 30 years.

"He has flourished in a culture that permits a certain level of objectionable expression that hurts and demeans a wide range of people," CBS Corp. chief executive Leslie Moonves said in a memo to his staff.

Sharpton praised Moonves' decision Friday and said it was time to change the culture of publicly degrading other people."I think we've got to really used this to really stop this across the board," he told CBS's "The Early Show."

Mike Francesa, whose WFAN sports show with partner Chris Russo is considered a possible successor to "Imus in the Morning," said he was embarrassed by the company. "I'm embarrassed by their decision. It shows, really, the worst lack of taste I've ever seen," he said.

Losing Imus will be a financial hit to CBS Radio, which also suffered when Howard Stern left for satellite radio. The program earns about $15 million in annual revenue for CBS, which owns Imus' home radio station WFAN-AM and manages Westwood One, the company that syndicates the show nationally WFAN.

The show's charity fundraiser had raised more than $1.3 million Thursday before Imus learned he had lost his job. The total had grown Friday to more than $2.3 million for Tomorrows Children's Fund, CJ Foundation for SIDS and the Imus Ranch, Deirdre Imus said. The annual event has raised more than $40 million since 1990.

Imus' troubles have also affected his wife, the founder of a medical center that studies links between cancers and environmental hazards whose book "Green This!" came out this week. Her promotional tour was called off "because of the enormous pressure that Deirdre and her family are under," said Simon & Schuster publicist Victoria Meyer.

The Deirdre Imus Environmental Center for Pediatric Oncology in Hackensack, N.J., works to identify and control exposures to environmental hazards that may cause adult and childhood cancers. Imus Ranch in New Mexico invites children who have been ill to spend time on a working cattle ranch.

12:48 PM  

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